From Teacher to Full-Time Freelance Writer with Amber Meadows

I had a great conversation with my friend, Amber Meadows, on my podcast earlier this month, going over how she went from a teacher to a full-time copywriter. Amber didn’t feel fulfillment from her teaching job any longer, and decided to try her hand at freelancing. Today, she is the owner of her own freelancing agency, where she provides business copywriting to clients around the world. It’s never too late to pivot from your career and try something – as free and lucrative – as freelancing. Enjoy the interview below from the Freelance Fairytales Podcast:

Alex: Hi, guys, welcome back to the freelance fairy tales podcast where we chat all things remote work, freelancing, mindset, and financial freedom. This week, I’m very excited to welcome on my good friend who I’ve not met in person yet, we will change that! Freelance writer and top rated Fiverr Freelancer Amber Meadows: Amber currently offers web copy product descriptions, blogs and brand strategy after diving into freelancing in September 2020, able to leave a job that was making her unhappy and unfulfilled at the time, we will talk about this. Amber is now a champion for mindset development and showing others what’s possible if they step outside of their office walls. Hi, Amber.

Amber: Thank you so much for having me. Everyone’s talking about the Great Reset lately. But this is the real reset. I think it’s really amazing what you’re doing.

Alex: Oh my gosh, you know, I feel very blessed that I’m at a point in my career where I can just have amazing people on my podcast and talk to them. I feel like, it’s like, I can’t believe this is free, I get to talk to great people. And I always learn something at the end of every podcast with someone else. So I adore it. So thank you for coming on. So I know your story quite well. But for those who do not know it, and they’re listening right now, they want to know why Fiverr, how Fiverr, how top rated seller, I already know that’s what they’re thinking.

Amber: Yeah, so I was a teacher for four years in New York City charter school system, where I was miserable. I wasn’t miserable. At first. At first, everything was really great. And everything’s really cool. And the money was great. And I was able to move out of my parents house and live in Brooklyn and live that, you know, New York City dream, I like to call it Yeah, and everybody wants to hear about everybody loves it. And then it really was not what it needed to be. And then, unfortunately, but fortunately, a pandemic really gave me the push that I needed to accelerate my move. And I decided to move to North Carolina with no plan, no plan at all. And I believe it was July 3, if I have the date stub that I came across one of your TikToks. I have a screen shot. I came across your account and I think you were just like doing one of these. And it was just it just all made sense to me. And I was like you know what, I’m not doing anything. I have my BA in English. Let me see if I could at least get something. Get a little bite something. So I didn’t do $5 Because I was like, you know I have I have a BA in English. Let’s see what happens. Yeah, I think I did $15 to $20 is what I started with. And I got my first client, which thankfully it was an amazing, amazing person, whoever that is made my day, they gave such a long beautiful review. It was a great, it was just great. And I was like wow, if I could do this every day, that would make my life so much better. And yeah, the rest is history.

I’ve been able to do it every single day and have been able to get off Fiverr clients as well and just keep growing and growing and decided to apply for Fiverr PRO; got into pro and one year later.

Alex: That’s amazing. So how quickly after you joined in September, did you get top rated and pro so I know people always want to ask me that when they’re like, they’re like oh, you know it’s gonna take me three years because it took you three years I’m like guys, it doesn’t have to take you three years! In fact, I have all the information out there so you don’t have to wait three years exactly.

Amber: So I binge watched your like entire setup between you Carrie blogger. It was like back to back. I’m like you guys are my new co workers and we’re in this together and I was binge watching everything. So I kind of just wrote it out how your tips and her tips really gave me the good push to set up my Fiverr account in a really successful way. So it really was only I would say six months until I got Top Rated and then waited a little bit after I got top rated to apply for Pro and I got pro right away and I’ve just been adding gigs here and there just from my comfortability. I didn’t want to do anything that I wasn’t ready yet because I feel like yeah, I graduated with a BA but I’ve only officially been writing for like a year.

Alex: Yeah, that’s amazing. Okay, so like six months pretty much. You went right into it. I know for top rated you have to have very, very excellent customer service. What are your tips for keeping all your clients super happy, because we know we know some of them are not – some of them are crazy!

Amber: Some are really crazy. And that’s a story for many, many, I’m sure everybody has a story of a crazy client, but I really made sure to just give, just give. I always said to myself, You know what, I’m not doing anything else, this is my new job, and I have the opportunity to, you know, go to the grocery store in the middle of the day, or like, you know, have have a conversation on the phone for like two hours if I want to. So if I’m able to do this, I could certainly make some time to make a crazy client happy. And you know, I’ve set really, really strategic responses. Fiverr, thankfully, is able to, you know, you could just click a button, and I have this one, they have this one button that says bad, bad client, where I don’t even think about it, I just press the button, and it kind of just says like, Hi, I’m so sorry, XY and Z, I’m gonna make sure to get this done for you, so that I’m not putting myself in that position, because I could be a little, you know, the New York me really comes out. And I could be like, you know, like, I really don’t like you. But that, you know, I’m thankful that Fiverr at least gives you a little, a little bit of play, where you’re able to, like, kind of have it in the back of your head. And I always make sure that whenever I do have a five star rating, that I’m always thanking them and you know, letting them know, you know, we can work together again, or, like, if you want a bundle deal, I could do that for you. So, and honestly, I’m excited to see so many people start their own businesses. So it makes me excited to kind of like, just be part of that because I have so many, you know, people who are a single mom and they just quit their job or maybe they just got you know, fired because of a you know, particular mandate or something that you’re just going out there and just taking risks. And I’m thankful to just be part of that.

Alex: Totally, that was always my favorite part of it is learning, you I almost feel like you got a one up! You like know which industries are hotter than others, or what’s going to be poppin’ coming. I always was like, you know, this could probably be a business itself, like tipping off other people to what industries are hot, based on Fiverr orders. So I totally relate to that. And that’s, that’s super amazing and mature of you that you recognize that the freedom it affords you is much more worth it to you than flipping out at a client because I know for me when I first started, I wasn’t able to equate those yet at 22. You know, come on. But that’s awesome. That’s that’s very like mature of you to get to understand that. And I know you you wrote to me like that. Yeah, the money is great, of course. But for you, it’s all about the freedom. And I don’t know if you want to talk more about like this newfound kind of like mindset, freedom and everything that you have. And your story with that.

Amber: Yeah, so of course, so I’m originally from New York, I was from upstate New York, and I moved into the city and yep, upstate New York. I think when you move to the city, and you have that dream of what it could be, and the money that you’re going to make, and you know, the friends that you could make it all at least for me, it all really like came crumbling, and I was like, this ain’t it. And I, I was just miserable. Like, you wake up in the morning, it’s dark, you come out of work, it’s dark, and you just feel like, like, the life was literally being sucked out of me. And such I was you know it, I think I moved there. And I was 20, 22, 23 24. And I was like, is this how it’s gonna be forever? Because I’m faking a smile, and I’m faking all these friendships and I’m faking that, you know, everything’s all grand in my, you know, box of a Brooklyn apartment. And I was so sad. And I think, you know, everybody numbs in New York, I like to say, because you aren’t how you are not happy and whether it’s you know, alcohol or you know, whatever, whatever your your thing is partying too much it. It never fulfills you, like knowing yourself and being very mindful and aware of what is happening to you.

And it took the pandemic, which I’m sure for a lot of people it did, it took the pandemic, it took me to move from New York to North Carolina, to kind of just like, ah, like, Okay, now that we could breathe again, what’s next, like now that we could breathe again? Like, how am I going to make sure that I will never get back to that place again, but to me being strategic in all this free time. And for me, I ended my teaching job in July, I was thankfully able to collect at least like two months of unemployment, I think and, you know, have that plan of what is next. And I did think about going back into teaching because I did just get my Master’s in special education and it was an option and jobs were needed. Yeah, I was just like, No, I would rather take back my time and take back what I think I need to do for myself. because everybody always says, you know, you know, do what your parents say, and you know, have have a job, have a, have a nine to five, like, make sure that you get, get that ball rolling on your retirement plan, all this other stuff. And I just, it just didn’t feel right. It felt awful. And I think for the first time ever, I’m able to say, you know, I’m doing things for me, and I’m able to see the people who, you know, can be in my circle and see the people who know that I can help and have this free time to spend time with my family to go outside in the middle of the day. And not like, you know, I used to be one of those people who would just stare out the window and be like, Wow, it’s such a nice, you know, day outside. I wish I could go outside. And now I’m able to just like, go outside, like I’m gonna go, just take a walk, I’m gonna go like have a I’m gonna do a lap around my block. Like, yeah, and just have that freedom.

Alex: Yeah, I mean, gosh, I like I ponder this stuff all the time. Because I’m like, how did we get to a place in society where we think it’s normal, that our jobs keep us locked in a building? Like, you know, like, like, when did we come to accept this and I feel like millennials, especially you know, we have we had a tough because I feel like we inherited more debt than any generation before us. So I know, that’s why other Millennials think they ought to be locked inside that building. And it makes me angry every day that people think that they have to do that. And that’s why I love that I love that you have broken out and you have your own story to go on and share you know, because it’s like I share my mind’s only mine. Like, I’m so glad you guys are now out there sharing yours tubes. We, I need help here to like, tell these people guys, there’s options. There’s, there’s life outside of those walls,

Amber: And I was just so thankful because I said to myself, and I went in, I went into it like, obviously knowing that, you know, you make great money. I know, Steffanie, who you had on on the show previously makes great money to me. And yes, it was a goal. But I said, If I could just make even half of what I made as a teacher, which you know, wasn’t great, again, with I was like, I’ll be so much happier. And then I’ll be able to see that. And now I’m like, Wow, I’m making more than I made teaching. And to be able to say that was it was like, feel like it is possible. And this is only my first year. So I know next year I’ll be I’ll be you know, I’ll know more, I’ll do more. And it’ll just make so much more sense. But for me to be able to do that in just one year. I and and but unfortunately, it’s like still have, you know, my teacher friends in my DMs being like, Oh, my goodness, like, This place sucks. Like, I can’t believe that, you know, you’re so lucky that you love them just like you can leave, everybody can leave. Like you could leave a place where you’re not happy. And you could try and you know, yes, I’m a writer. So I know that that’s like just a different skill. But there’s so many options for people. And I think that and that’s what’s so great about what you’re doing is just showing people that you don’t, you don’t have to you could take maybe your third best skill and just make something out of it. It doesn’t even have to be your number one skill. Yeah.

Alex: And always, not, like, irks me. But when people will say to me, oh, you’re so lucky. And I’m like luck doesn’t exist. It doesn’t exist. There’s opportunities and there’s God and they come together and present themselves to you. And either you can take them or you cannot and luckily God will keep bringing things your way eggs, he wouldn’t have to get in. We don’t have to make this a sermon. But you know, you know what I’m going to say with that. You know, and you took the opportunity and and would you say to anyone listening, you know, was it scarring when you when you first like got on Fiverr? Did you ever have the imposter syndrome? Or did you almost feel like this is my divine purpose, I got this?

Amber: I love that. It’s like that a regal almost. I always I like your name. It’s like there’s something about it. It’s like an author name. Thank you so much. All right. Amber, thank you so much for coming on. Thank you so much for having me. Don’t ever change. Go out there and inspire everyone now.: I didn’t feel either of those. Actually, I feel like I said to myself, looking back at where I just was, I can’t go back there. And I genuinely moved my whole position like I move states, I quit my job. And I kind of just said to myself, well, I can’t go back there. And I don’t know where else I want to go. So I’m just going to move forward. I’m going to move forward intentionally and I’m going to move forward in a way that makes me happy every day. And no do I wake up happy, you know, to write every single day? No, there’s many things that I I don’t want to write about this today. But it I’m able to say to myself, This is so much better than being in a position where you’re not appreciated. Where you wake up and it’s dark, you go to bed and it’s dark and you just feel so empty and I think that’s genuinely how I felt every day and I had I bought the $100 son alarm clock and that didn’t do anything either. So I feel like there was just so it’s like it’s like this like son alarm clock. It’s huge. I have it in my bedroom still but I bought it because I was in New York. I was a teacher I would be at work by 615 Every morning, so I would have to find some sort of light and even then I was like, I’m miserable. Like I can’t do this anymore. Oh my god. Yes. So I’m like I I tried and I left New York thankfully, like in my heart of hearts being like, you know what, I tried the New York thing. And for some people, it’s great. And I, I always say, for people who ever want to move to New York to go ahead and do it, because I do believe it’s an experience, and it makes you tougher, and it makes you see what you want to see. And it makes you do things that you’ve never thought about doing. But you have to know when it’s time to leave, because it will take take from you to take from every month, every day, every year.

Alex: Oh, that is exactly what I thought about the city because it made me in a way, right. Like, that’s where my whole story began. Because my job in New York City was so effing terrible. And scarring. That’s why I humbled myself to get on Fiverr. And I thank God everyday for that, because I don’t think I’d be here without New York, beating it into me.

Amber: I completely agree. So I wasn’t afraid. And I wasn’t, I didn’t say to myself, you know, oh, this is like, this is my chance. Because am I going to, you know, be on Fiverr forever? No, I would like to move on to other things, probably write a book, or maybe maybe one day, I will go back into teaching the way that things are going and start my own school one day, but I think in general, right, like no education system is compared to New York and North Carolina is quite different. So that’s always an option. Yeah, so I, you know, there’s so many possibilities, but at least I know that there is no one path. And I think that is, the biggest thing that I could take from this is that you don’t always have to have this narrow minded spirit about it, because things could happen. I and I always said to myself, like it genuinely was God, putting me on tick tock, not me personally, like on my face, but just like just scrolling to just have a laugh. Everybody was, you know, miserable at that time. And I just, I just wanted a little giggle. And I came across your TikTok. And I was like, you know, that’s something I think I could do. Like, I’m not doing anything right now. And I think two weeks I got my first client, and the rest just, it just keeps on going.

Alex: Yeah, I mean, whenever I hear that from people, like it makes me almost, you know, want to cry on some level, I don’t really cry. It makes that makes me feel emotional. Because it’s so amazing. How much it can impact other people if you just run your race. So it’s like, never in a million years, could I ever have thought that by me getting on Fiverr to make my rent seven years ago that today and 2021 It would be helping people like find happiness. I feel like that makes sense. And it’s so funny what happens when you run your own race, when you do what you feel you need to do, then suddenly it impacts everyone else around you.

Amber: I love that. It’s like that a regal almost. I always I like your name. It’s like there’s something about it. It’s like an author name. Thank you so much. All right. Amber, thank you so much for coming on. Thank you so much for having me. Don’t ever change. Go out there and inspire everyone now.: To me, that is always like my biggest lessons. I think everybody has a an issue comparing themselves to people. And I think when you when you go into this, you kind of say to yourself, well, you know, Alex makes this much and Steffanie made six months, and Amber makes this much, you kind of don’t realize like you are just in your own, you’re just in your own ways. You’re just in your own path and your everything is gonna go up and down and all around. And at the end of the day, it’s your journey. And that to me, just makes it so much more fun and just so much more interesting. Because I could say to myself, you know, maybe in two months, maybe I’ll move to another state or another country, or maybe I’ll just figure it out. But at least I have that option, just from this one opportunity that has just expanded into into the point where I have people in my DMs being like, hey, like so what like, what is it that you do, because I didn’t know what copywriting was when I first started out. And I was just like, Oh, I could just give it a try and just see what happens. And I did. I did resume writing for like two months, I decided that that wasn’t really fun for me. So I just decided to do something else.

Alex: Yeah, empower the people in your life with this big change.

Amber: Everybody was scared. And for some reason, I just wasn’t. I was kind of like, it’d be fine. Like I have a savings. You know, if something doesn’t blow over you like I could always land back into teaching and figure it out. Because you know, New York is still much different than North Carolina. So I said you know if I have something to fall back on, but I think it took my dad probably like a good six months to kind of he would like always check in and be like so that writing thing. How’s it going? Insurance? No doubt about that. Always the dad’s and I was just like, I was like, I’m fine. I’m like, Don’t worry, like, I can eat a sandwich like and I will always be fine. Like I will never you know, put myself in that bad of a position but I think it took him like a good six months to kind of be like, you know, I’m really proud that that you’re, you know that you stop doing what made you so unhappy. And I think that to me, was kind of like, I didn’t know that baby boomers. Yeah, the baby boomer generation, they don’t really get that, like, oh, no, you genuinely you stopped what you were doing, because it was making you unhappy. You had like, yeah, maybe like a 15 minute break to think about it. And then you started something that absolutely made no sense to you. But then you made it work.

Alex: Because I think it’s doing two good things, right. It’s showing so many people the options that they never knew they had in the first place. So they don’t have to be miserable. And I think it’s putting a ton of pressure on these corporate CEO people to have to make concessions that should have been made 30 years ago, because if they don’t, they’re going to lose their people. And I you know, you probably see I post about the Great Resignation all the time. I think it’s just great. Like, I’m, I’m so happy to be part of this. I’m so proud of everyone else who was part of this. And I think, yeah, I think it’s amazing. I love like Gen Z, I see is already so much more embracing of it. I know a lot of years who avoided the college debt. So it was really just millennials that got screwed.

Amber: I mean, granted, I love my 90s music, I love the grunge era and all of it, but I’m like, like a couple years later, like I really could have just been out of debt, not that I have that much to begin with, thankfully. But there’s so many people who get stuck in these jobs or stuck in these careers, these whole careers of like, I became an engineer, because, you know, my dad told me to be an engineer, my mom, you know, told me to be a doctor or something. And now, you’re, you feel so stuck. Because that’s yeah, I don’t even know like eight years of school and then to get that job into, you know, you have to bank for that promotion, then you want to start a family how you’re gonna start, it’s so scary, especially when we do hit our 50s and 60s and have to kind of say to ourselves, are we happy? And there are so many people, you know, one they’re not going to be they’re not going to want to feel that vulnerability of kind of say that say to themselves, wow, I really didn’t do what I wanted to do. And yeah, that’s really, really the sad part for me, I think because it’s just like, it doesn’t have to be that way. And we generally only have one life. So if you feel like you want to leave something that is making you so unhappy, eff what everybody else thinks and Sorry, sorry, sorry to mom and dad. And maybe maybe you just won’t talk to them for Christmas, maybe maybe you’ll go on vacation for Christmas instead of going to mom and dad’s house. But you have to take that stand and kind of say to yourself, I’m going to try something. And if it doesn’t work, you can, you know, everybody could say until they’re blue in the face that I told you so but at least you feel some peace that you can go back into whatever you were doing.

Alex: I think that was one of the good things that came from COVID which no one ever wants to talk about. Obviously bad things came and are still coming. But I think it woke a lot of people realized how fleeting our time is down here. More people than ever they’re living in vans or flying to Thailand or quitting their job because it comes in it goes down here quick and a lot of people leave earlier than I think they thought they were going to leave it and it’s as simple as that. Like, you know, why waste your life? And I think that’s a scary thing, though for some people to come face to face with because then they have to almost come face to face with their own like mortality in a way and then I think it brings up discussions which some people don’t want to have and like you know, it starts the whole thing. But, you know for people listening to this, what is what is your opinion on do you think everyone should try freelancing because I get this a lot of my videos when I post about it, they’re like, Well, some people are better in offices or some people can’t do that. And I’m like, Guys, I think being tell me if you disagree, I think there’s a huge difference between being an entrepreneur and starting your own frickin business from scratch. And freelancing.

Amber: I completely agree, I do think that they’re very different. And I do think everybody has, I think you mentioned this either in in Tik Tok, or maybe a post that, once upon a time, everybody had something that they were good at, and something that they really liked, whether they were six years old, or maybe 16, they had something inside of them that had a creative, creative, you know, in a sense, and they were not able to hone in on that, and use it. And I think it does take some time. And that for me, it took a lot of therapy, a lot of just wholeheartedness to kind of say to myself, you know, what, you used to write a lot and whether I you know, wrote letters to my parents, or whether I wrote my journals, which I still have, you were writing at one point or another. So I think that you should hone in hone into that and see how it goes. And I didn’t say to myself, Oh, I’m gonna make you know, Amber Meadows CO, and I’m gonna make a huge business out of it, when I have my own writers and not my own this, because that was a little overwhelming for me, and it’s still kind of is, so freelancing just turned into something that I could have small steps in, and small steps become bigger. And for some people who, you know, maybe they’re not a writer, and maybe they’re just really, they find that they’re really great at giving advice. And when people take their advice, they they go places, and now they say themselves, you know, what, I could actually help other people and I could become a life coach, or I could help other people and I could, and I could just make phone calls to people, and I could just charge charge them for like an hour, and just see how it goes.

But honing in on those creative skills, and just those, it’s just gifts, you know, everybody has them, everybody is able to, to massage them in some form, whether you’re still at your corporate job or not, or even from like, people on Etsy, who just sell, you know, their socks and their, and their tchotchkes, and it’s just so adorable, and they’re so happy. And they just, and they’re just making something out of it. And it’s not, it doesn’t have to be so grandiose. Like it genuinely doesn’t, it doesn’t even have to be like a huge second thought, with freelancing where I know people like think of the entrepreneur and the Girlboss is out there. And it’s great. But it can be really daunting, and it can be something that you may not be ready for. And I think for me, it was something that okay, if I could freelance, then maybe the next year, I could do this, and the next year, I could do that. And that, to me is just so great to even just have the freedom to say that, like nobody is making you, you know, submit a report to yourself and say, you know, you know, there is no, you know, self evaluation, you know, or yearly evaluation, nobody’s giving you Well, my clients are giving me ratings, but nobody in a grand sentence is writing you. And you could just try it and do it. And I think everybody should, at some point, or another, find something that they’re good at, and that they love, and hone into those skills and see where it leads, whether it’s something so small, or something that you just wanted to try. And if you suck at it, then maybe maybe move on, or maybe take a class and get better at it if you really love it. But it’s so important to just try. And I think if I didn’t try, I wouldn’t be here. And if you didn’t try, you wouldn’t be here. And it’s just that little step. And thankfully, you know, you were able to gather up a gaggle of girls and just like, you know, create our little like group.

Alex: I love our group.

Amber: So I think it just, it makes it 10 times better. Freelancing makes it so I am able to afford the things that I need to just live my life and invest in my health. I can be healthy now. And if that means buying a $300 standing desk, I’m above the $300 standing desk, and I want it and I like it to be really big, so that all my markers could be laid out and all my planners that you know, are halfway use. I like all that, that all makes me happy. And it’s my money and I’m able to do it. And I have the freedom to have everything that I need to make myself happy. And I feel like the more people kind of say to themselves, okay, yes, I have all this money, but I’m miserable, or, you know, I’m miserable. And I don’t have enough money to even, you know, think about the next step or the next chapter in my life. But it’s never too late to at least make an attempt, or at least write it down. I know. And that’s another thing I did, I took sticky notes and I just wrote it. I wrote all these things down on the back of my closet door and it was like I’m gonna make more than I did teaching. I’m gonna you know, try to have X amount of orders and it just kept going and after like, I just random, like, open my closet door.

Alex: I love that. People don’t talk about the positive health aspect side of it enough. Or that you can be home with your cat.

Amber: Cats! So many writers have them and I’m just like ugh, mine unfortunately passed away a couple years ago and I have yet to find another but he was a Siamese cat. And I was just like, you know what’s funny, like, every writer I know, has a cat. It’s something, I think it’s just like our, like, the feline-ness of writing and the the way that our brains move, I love it.

Alex: By the way, I love your last name! It’s such a poet-name. It sounds almost regal. I always I like your name. It’s like there’s something about it. It’s like an author name. Thank you so much. All right. Amber, thank you so much for coming on. Thank you so much for having me. Don’t ever change. Go out there and inspire everyone now.

Amber: Of course, thank you so much Alex.

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